‘A Former US Marine Will Show Ireland Has Breached International Law In Shannon’


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Yesterday, during Leaders’ Questions, Independent TD Mick Wallace raised concerns about the US military’s use of Shannon Airport in light of the recent CIA torture report.

During his exchange with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Mr Wallace said a former US marine will come forward with information in the New Year.

Mick Wallace: “Although there is always much talk about transparency here, as under the previous Government, secrecy seems to be the order of the day. Last week, I asked the Taoiseach about surveillance being carried out by the British Government’s communications headquarters, GCHQ, on cables in the Irish Sea. I asked whether the Government had sanctioned it; if so, under what legislation; and if not, what it will do to protect citizens’ rights. The recent report on torture by the CIA also involves much secrecy around Shannon Airport. The US Senate’s report on the CIA’s use of torture has made little of American assurances that military aircraft passing through Shannon Airport do not carry military arms. The dogs in the street know they do.
Given the extent of the report, it is pretty clear that Shannon Airport has been used for rendition flights as part of the torture programme. Normally, when talking about something that happened on Fianna Fáil’s watch, as this did, the Government is jumping up and down to kick Fianna Fáil around. I am surprised the Government is not seeking to investigate this. Given all the information that has come our way regarding Shannon Airport, rendition flights and the CIA torture programme, does the Taoiseach not think it is time we had a full investigation into everything that has happened in Shannon Airport since 9/11?”

Pat Breen: “Where is the evidence?”

Joe Carey: “There is no evidence.”

Pat Breen: “The Deputy tried his investigation when he jumped the fence.”

Niall Collins: “The Deputies opposite are very quiet. Do they not represent Shannon at all over there?”

Joe Carey: “The Deputy should stay off the runway.”

Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett: “Quiet please.”

Enda Kenny: “The Ministers for Justice and Equality and Foreign Affairs and Trade have been in touch constantly with the authorities from the United States in respect of rendition. Deputy Wallace will appreciate that this matter has been the subject of discussion in this House many times in recent years. I am unsure as to the kind of full investigation he is talking about. Clearly, the relationship between the United States and this country, no more than many other countries, deals with those issues. If the Deputy is suggesting the Government is not being told the truth about every flight that goes through Shannon, I would like to hear some evidence of the Deputy’s proof of this. He states that every flight was carrying arms and weapons.”

Wallace: “I did not say they all were.”

Richard Boyd Barrett: “He said “some””.

Kenny: “The Deputy might explain to me what sort of investigation he is talking about, because there have been claims about this in the House on many occasions previously. They all were investigated and down-to-earth—–”

A Deputy: “Like HIQA.”

Kenny: “—-and all of them were discussed in the House in respect of the truth of the matter and transparency.”

A Deputy: “The Taoiseach means the Government asked the Americans.”

Kenny: “Perhaps Deputy Wallace has some information I do not have.”

Wallace: “I have plenty of information about it.”

Harrington: “Share it.”

Wallace: “WikiLeaks has revealed a considerable amount in the past couple of years regarding the same subject. Amnesty International also has done so.”

Breen: “There is no proof Deputy.”

Barrett: “Please.”

Wallace:If the Taoiseach thinks not enough information has been brought forward already, I expect to have a former United States marine come forward in the new year who has passed through Shannon on a regular basis. He will give evidence to the fact that Ireland is in breach of international law in respect of things that have gone on in Shannon and how the United States has used the place.

Finian McGrath: Deputy Breen should be worried.

Wallace: “Given the assurances the United States has provided to different people around the world about what it does and does not do and given the extent of the CIA torture programme, has it any credibility left in this area? Since the events of 11 September 2001, the United States has completely contravened human rights law. It has abandoned it and has lost its moral value in this area.

Barrett: “A question please.”

Wallace: “Torture is illegal.”

Carey: “It is torture being in here listening to the Deputy.”

Wallace: “The murder of innocent civilians in foreign countries is illegal. Unwarranted surveillance of the Irish public is illegal in this State. Is the Government really serious about doing things differently than its predecessor? I ask because some transparency is needed on this entire area.”

Barrett: “Sorry Deputy, you are over time.”

Wallace:If Members bring more evidence to the Taoiseach in the new year, would he consider establishing an independent investigation on what has gone on at Shannon?

Kenny: “I thank Deputy Wallace. He asked whether the Government will do things differently than before and he has evidence of this even within the past fortnight. On foot of the new information that came forward in a recent television programme, as well as other documentation, the Government made a decision in respect of reopening the case with regard to what are known as the hooded men where torture was involved. Obviously, as Deputy Wallace is well aware, that original decision had implications for other cases around the world. I do not have any information about the former member of United States marines of whom the Deputy speaks but if that person is coming forward and is making available information of which the Government is not aware, obviously it will be happy to hear that information from the person involved. Moreover, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade will take that up directly with the American authorities. Last week, I dealt with the question of the cables, their ownership, the requirement for High Court judges and the fact that unwarranted surveillance is not legal and clearly, the Government would take a serious view of that. Of course, there is the question of major companies requiring information to be had or in issues of criminal activities where, under conditions, that information can be made available. Our country always has tried to measure up to the highest standards in respect of international law and if Deputy Wallace’s contact has information that is not available to the Government, the Department or to the authorities, the Government will be glad to hear it in the new year.”

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Previously: For The Record

Facilitating Torture

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36 thoughts on “‘A Former US Marine Will Show Ireland Has Breached International Law In Shannon’

    1. Neil

      Just what I was thinking. The level of disdain and arrogance shown by our Government to another who is bringing a serious matter up for debate is sickening. Says it all really

      1. Milo

        Pretty reasonable retort to a tax evading pension stealing hypocrite. It’s getting tiresome with the tin foil hat brigade. If he has actual evidence he should bring it forward instead of unspecified says unspecified with unspecified evidence…

  1. Odis

    I see, American government uses Shannon Airport -> Irish government guilty of torture.
    Righto Bodger – best of luck with that premise.

    1. Atticus

      I don’t think that’s what he’s saying at all. However, if all this has been going on in Shannon the government/Irish state is certainly complicit.

      1. Odis

        > So go on – what do you think he’s saying?

        Complicity – the fact or condition of being involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong.

        >being involved with others in an activity.

        1. Atticus

          I meant that he is not saying anything he is merely reporting on what was said during Leaders’ Questions.

          1. Odis

            Righto. My mistake – I’ll have to check Broadsheet, in future, to get my report of what goes on during Leaders Questions.

  2. Kolmo

    Why did the Gardaí and Military Intelligence not board the planes when allegations of kidnapping flights were made, and allegations about the carriage illegal weaponry through the Irish State were made (on many occasions)?
    It is not the job of a retired elderly lady to risk jumping the fence at shannon and getting injured by vehicles or shot dead by Gardaí/Irish Army to accumulate evidence for the very people who apparently already know what is happening.
    All these flights were at the expense of the Irish Tax Payer too! Why?

    1. Kolmo

      *flight facilitating costs were at the expense of the Irish Tax PAyer, not the actual flights themselves, that would be too much to take…

  3. Jimmy 2 tones

    Why dont you all just watch eastenders or cornation street instead of watching this soap opera, cause at the end of the day thats all it is. Liars who are friends behind it all that are playing you all for fools, & have been since day 1.

  4. I am not the moderator

    True Jimmy I guess.
    This is all a game to these overpaid clowns. In this day and age we have people dying in doorways and other clowns in politics who can’t go to there work whilst getting paid a whopping 95000 euro a year.
    The whole Irish political system is a sham. They are making noise for no reason. That clown with the long hair cannot even have the decency to address the Dail in suitable attire. He’s taking the piss. Gives himself and son a massive payrise, then bankrupts the company, screwing his employees out of their pensions.
    Then has the audacity to say that the irish government were partial to torture becuase the U.S planes were landing in Shannon. FFS where’s he going with that one like!
    He makes me sick, a complete disgrace as a representative of the Irish people in politics. he’s laughing at all of us.

  5. More_Bemuda_Than_Berlin

    If Wallace produces his Ace in the New Year, I foresee a lot of shoulder-shrugging among FG/FF/Labour with plenty of sure-we’re-a-small-open-economy-what-can-we-do-about-it sprinkled into the dismissive media commentary.

    Anyway, enough of this substantive issue business, why doesn’t Mick Wallace pay his taxes, or cut his hair, etc.

  6. Atticus

    Sure what’s an independent report going to achieve? To date it seems the only evidence gathering the Irish state has carried out is asking the US have they done any wrong, to which I’m sure they’ve replied, “Hell no!” And I’m sure that response was greeted with a, “Phew, thank god for that!”

  7. Clampers Outside!

    Is Kenny denying the news that hit practically every news provider in the world last week that Ireland (among many other countries) is in contravention of international human rights by providing rendition flights access to Shannon…. is Kenny denying what was splashed over likely every international news publication a week ago.

    He is, isn’t he.

    And that Carey fella, he’s denying it for sure.

    WTF is going on, do they think people only read The Denis Press or what…. ffs.


    1. downtowntrain

      Where’s the evidence Clampers? Where’s the evi – BORING. You’re boring us.

      Waterly boarded.

  8. gertrude


    plenty of evidence is the pdf there from the opensociety.

    i think dermot ahern was looking for inspections for plausible deniability, i think to say he was asking for random inspections is giving too much credit. pay close attention to his wording and the mention of pro golfers in his wikileak. the guys shouting no evidence are the worst scum this country has produced.

  9. trevor

    Nobody on here has commented on the many Irish families who lost loved ones in the 9/11 terrorist attack. Former US Vice-President Cheney commented recently that the US Administration had to take steps to bring those responsible to justice and ensure that such a cowardly attack would never happen again. Every right thinking Irish person should agree.
    Wallace should pay his taxes, discharge his outstanding debts to society, before he starts jumping over fences at Shannon Airport and stop spouting waffle about the US flights using the airport. What looks like a clown, acts like a clown and speaks like a clown, must be a clown.

    1. Dave

      Its a real pity that Dick Cheney et al ignored the warnings they received. Also, its very unfortunate that Cheney cleared the air-ways for the “terrorists”. Not to mention documented reports stating that Cheney was being informed while “something” (30 mins away, 20 mins away etc.) approached the pentagon.
      One of our TDs questions our facilitating illegal torture, and he’s a clown. Even if Wallace is wrong, asking for explanations is hardly clownish.
      If Mick Wallace had paid his taxes would his opinion then be valid?
      Attacking people personally instead of addressing the issues simply exposes your limited thought.

        1. Mikeyfex

          There’s well known footage of Martha Stewart showing you how to do it with the Thanksgiving turkey.

    2. Nigel

      In fairness, facilitating torture is something most tax dodgers can look down on from the moral high ground, so let him at it.

  10. Jackeen

    Wallace has substantial bank debts and is also a confirmed tax evader.
    The banks and the revenue should have moved to have him declared bankrupt and kicked out of the Dail. With his record he should be keeping his head down and his mouth shut.
    Lets hope the learned judge down in Clare puts himself and his mate, the Daly bird, out of circulation for a while when the court case comes up for jumping the fence down at Shannon.

    1. jungleman

      He’s an elected politician and is representing his constituents’ interests, so he doesn’t have the option of keeping his head down. Despite his tax issues, he has done an excellent job as a TD. He’s one of the better ones, and that’s coming from someone who criticised him a lot when the tax matter arose.

  11. Kieran NYC

    Has everyone who’s commenting on Wallace’s tax affairs registered with Irish Water and will they be paying water charges?

    After all, no one likes a tax evader, right?

Comments are closed.

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